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Church Bulletin: September 14, 2014

posted Sep 14, 2014, 2:15 PM by Saint Raphael of Brooklyn Antiochian Orthodox Church
September 14, 2014- The Feast of the Exaltation of the Precious and Life-Giving Cross
This Week's Services and Events

September 15, Monday
       + Teen SOYO Movie Night, 6:30PM

September 17, Wednesday
        +  Akathist, 7:00PM

September 19, Friday
        + Matins, 8:30AM
        + Father's Office Hours, 9:30AM-11:30AM

September 20, Saturday
        +Farmer's Market Table, 7:30AM-12:00PM
        + Nutrition Class with Julia Buchkina, 3:30PM-5:30PM
        + 9th Hour/Great Vespers, 6:00PM

September 21, Sunday
        +Matins, 8:45AM
        + Divine Liturgy, 10:00AM, followed by fellowship hour and Sunday School
        + Special Voters' Meeting during fellowship hour
Upcoming Events and Announcements    

Assembly of Bishops Asks Us to Pray for Them-
       All Orthodox bishops actively serving in the United States will soon be gathering for the 5th annual Assembly of Bishops meeting to be held September 15-18.  In a letter released by the chairman of the Assembly, Archbishop Demetrios of New York (Greek Archdiocese), the whole church is asked to pray for the bishops and this upcoming meeting.  To read Archbishop Demetrios's letter, go to: http://www.antiochian.org/sites/default/files/assembly_sunday_2014.pdf

St. Maria’s Bread House-

       St. Maria’s Bread House asks for your prayers as we work on creating a strong foundation for our organization and getting nonprofit status. The Bread House’s purpose is to create community to address food insecurity, malnourishment, and social isolation in the Kalona area as well as to provide an Orthodox witness. The board includes Newman Abuissa, Becky Morey, Bill Spencer, and three residents of Kalona. Amy Spencer is the Bread House’s executive director. If you're interested in helping in any way, contact Amy at kalonabreadhouse@gmail.com.

Teen SOYO-
       Our teens will meet for dinner and Movie Night at 6:30PM on September 15.  They will enjoy some time at Wilson's Apple Orchard at 11AM on Saturday, September 27.

Next Farmer's Market Table is September 20-
       We are in need of volunteers to bake and packages certain items to sell at our next St. Raphael table at the Iowa City Farmer's Market on September 20. 

Special Voters' Meeting, September 21-
       There will be a brief, one agenda item special voters' meeting during coffee hour following liturgy on Sunday, September 21.  At this meeting, we will decide whether or not to use funds that were left over from our sign project to either go toward a cross to be mounted on the façade of our building, or to get the electrical and gas line work done which is necessary to able to use the gas stove/oven that has been sitting idly in our furnace room.

Liturgies for St. Thekla-
       St. Thekla, the first female martyr, is an important saint in our archdiocese and for all Christians of the Middle East.  We will have a vesperal liturgy to commemorate her at 6PM on September 23.  If you miss this liturgy, there will be another for St. Thekla at 9AM on September 24 at St. George Church in Cedar Rapids.  All are welcome.   

Gaza Emergency: Iowa City Responds-
       St. Raphael Church is co-sponsoring a fundraising event titled "Gaza Emergency: Iowa City Responds" on Friday, September 26, 6:30PM-8:30PM at Old Brick (26 E. Market St., Iowa City).  For an evening of Middle Eastern food and music a suggested donation of $20 ($15 for students, seniors and low income and $10 for children) is requested.  Please RSVP by September 20 to dinnergaza@gmail.com or by phone: 319-333-5321.  Proceeds will benefit Gazans by being given to the UN Relief and Works Agency and the International Orthodox Christian Charities. 

Fr. Ignatius Speaking on Icons at Iowa City Public Library-
       Are you looking for an event to invite your non-Orthodox friends to?  Or, do you want to learn more about icons yourself?  On October 6, Fr. Ignatius will be giving a presentation titled "Meeting God Through Icons" at the Iowa City Public Library, Meeting Room A, at 7PM.  Information can also be found at: www.straphaelorthodoxchurch.org/events

Informed Choice Medical Clinic Fundraiser Dinner-
       The Iowa City Informed Choices Medical Clinic, which does good working seeking to offer real alternatives to pregnant women who might be inclined to seek an abortion, is having their annual fundraising dinner on Tuesday, October 21

Former St. Raphael Member on Short-term Mission Trip to Kenya-
       Former St. Raphael member Andy Goodell will be traveling to Kenya in November as part of a short-term mission trip organized by the Orthodox Christian Mission Center.  While there, Andy will be teaching English.  If you are interested in learning more about her trip or if you are interested in supporting her financially, go to: AndyinKenya2014.wordpress.com

Coffee With Sister Vassa Video Podcast-
       Fr. Ignatius recommends the funny, engaging and informative video podcast series on Ancient Faith Radio called "Coffee With Sister Vassa."  Sister Vassa is an American nun living in Vienna, Austria and she is gifted to teach important aspects of our faith through short, ten minute videos, with charm and humor.  You can find these podcasts at: http://www.ancientfaith.com/video/sistervassa

Bible Bowl and Oratorical Festival-
       Each year, our diocese offers two different competitions for teens (and one for adults), held at the Parish Life Conference.  The 2015 Parish Life Conference will be held in Grand Rapids, MI in June.  Teens from our parish have participated in and done very well in the Bible Bowl is recent years, winning trophies each time they have competed.  Instead of focusing on one book of the Bible, the 2015 Bible Bowl will focus on the life of our patron, St. Raphael of Brooklyn, as found in the book "Our Father Among the Saints Raphael Bishop of Brooklyn: Good Shepherd of the Lost Sheep in America" published by Antakya Press.  This theme was chosen by Metropolitan Philip before his repose, because 2015 is the 100th anniversary of the repose of St. Raphael.  Fr. Ignatius challenges teens (ages 13-19) to form a team and study and compete.  Adults can form a team as well.  We can win this at the diocesan level and go on to compete on the archdiocesan level!  In addition, if giving speeches is your thing (teens only), consider writing a speech for the Oratorical Festival, the theme of which is also the life of St. Raphael.  Information is posted in the narthex.  Talk to Fr. Ignatius if you would like to learn more.

Thoughts on Stewardship and Giving-    
          "A search of the patristic writings will uncover these and more quotes regarding the issue of tithing. The New Catholic Encyclopedia summarizes this by saying … “The payment of tithes was adopted from the Old Law, and early writers speak of it as a divine ordinance and an obligation of conscience. The earliest positive legislation on the subject seems to be contained in the letter of the bishops assembled at Tours in 567 and the canons of the Council of Macon in 585.”

Next Sunday's Gospel Reading-
        St. John Chrysostom urges Christians to preview the upcoming Sunday Gospel reading so that it may be fresh in your minds when you hear it next

The reading for Sunday, September 21 is:  The Lord said, “If any man would come after Me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow Me.  For whoever would save his life will lose it; and whoever loses his life for My sake and the Gospel’s will save it.  For what does it profit a man, to gain the whole world and forfeit his soul?  For what can a man give in return for his soul?  For whoever is ashamed of Me and of My words in this adulterous and sinful generation, of him will the Son of man also be ashamed, when He comes in the glory of His Father with the holy angels.”  And He said to them, “Truly, I say to you, there are some standing here who will not taste death before they see the Kingdom of God come with power.”

Pray for our Catechumens-
       Please keep our catechumens: Ilya Buchkin, Rob Bergenstock in your prayers as they prepare to be sacramentally joined to the Orthodox Church.
Keep Praying for Kidnapped Orthodox Bishops in Syria-
       Since April 22, 2013, the Orthodox Metropolitan of Aleppo, Metropolitan Paul, and the Syriac Metropolitan of Aleppo, Youhanna, have been in captivity and have not heard from.  Please pray for their well being and release and also pray for their captors as well.  One priest is also missing, having been kidnapped. 

Do You Have a Prayer Request?
        Please give it to Fr. Ignatius and he will distribute it by email to all those on the Prayer Chain. If you wish to join the Prayer Chain, please let Fr. Ignatius

Choir Leadership-
       Tania Van Dinter will lead the choir during the weekend of September 20-21.

Coffee Hour-
       The St. Nina team will bring food to share during coffee hour, and clean up the fellowship hall on September 21.

Church Cleaning-
       During the week of September 14-20, the St. Nicholas team will clean the nave, narthex, bookstore, stairs, nursery and bathrooms.

Holy Bread-
       For liturgy on Sunday, September 21, the Holy Bread will be provided by the Van Dinter family.  Thank you in advance.

Food for Thought-

"While man can scarcely keep what belongs to him by nature, Christ gives the grace of sonship through the Cross."

Saint Kosmas Aitolos